MYOB Portal helps Palfreyman Chartered Accountants bridge the client-advisor gap

Simone Palfreyman discusses streamlined collaboration and how MYOB enables her practice to deliver enhanced client services.

Learnings from a community advocate:

  • All feedback matters — you need to really listen to what customers say to improve your procedures and services.

  • Consider everyone in your business — include all employee voices when considering business decisions – big or small.

  • Don't rush business growth — developing your business organically in line with your personal circumstances can yield more consistent results.

After stints at Newcastle’s chartered accounting firms, Simone Palfreyman landed her dream job as lecturer at the University of Newcastle. But despite being a natural teacher, committing so much time and energy to students meant making sacrifices.

“It was very difficult to continue the profession if you wanted to be a mum,” she says. “I chose to set my own business up so I could set my own hours and work around the kids' timetable.”

Simone soon set her sights on Cessnock in NSW, a stone’s throw away from the Hunter Valley’s picturesque vineyards. It’s here that her business, Palfreyman Chartered Accountants, nurtures a wide range of local businesses.

"I love running my own business. I get the chance to help other people and make a positive impact in their lives."
Simone Palfreyman Principal | Palfreyman Chartered Accountants
A woman sitting outdoors, looking at her laptop with a phone held up to her ear

“We educate, work with, and assist clients in streamlining their systems,” says Simone. 

“We make sure they've got more time to spend doing the things they love.”    


Learning to appreciate different ways of working

Simone doesn’t just consider the work to be part of business. In her experience, supporting the people that make up the business can pay off in spades.

"I'm a big advocate of culture for firms. I think it's the most important thing that you can possibly have to make successful business."
Simone Palfreyman Principal | Palfreyman Chartered Accountants

“We run on a system called ‘holacracy’, which means everybody is treated equally. No matter whether you’re the head of the business or a part-time cleaner, you're given the opportunity to provide input.”

Two women wearing red shirts look at a computer screen

Choosing practice management software that grows with you

Working from home was an asset when Simone’s kids were young, but once they grew up, she seized an opportunity to move into an office in town. It wasn’t long after that Simone needed to hire more accountants to meet rising demand in the community. 

But even with all the changes to her business, there was one constant for Palfreyman Chartered Accountants: MYOB. 

"The software has grown with my business. I've always been able to monitor performance, use the budgeting functions, and do all the reporting side of it."
Simone Palfreyman Principal | Palfreyman Chartered Accountants

“The staff can all log in independently. They can work remotely, which has been an absolute lifesaver with the lockdown.”

The software doesn’t just make work easier for staff, though – Simone’s clients are also winners. 

“The management reports we provide through the advisory side of MYOB are brilliant. It's so quick and easy to provide that insight to clients. 

“People new to software also find the bank feeds incredible,” she says.  

“They had no idea of the time saving [made possible] by automating things. Being able to link bills and everything with it is fantastic.”

Easier collaboration with MYOB Portal

Improving collaboration has always been a goal for Simone, so she’s thrilled that chasing approvals has become a thing of the past courtesy of MYOB Portal.

“We've been using MYOB Portal for over five years now. About 90 percent of our clients are using it as well. 

"Whether they're waiting at an airport or just sitting at home, they can view the documents, download them, and digitally sign them."
Simone Palfreyman Principal | Palfreyman Chartered Accountants

“It's a massive time saver,” she attests. “We can upload a document and within 30 seconds it’s approved by a client.”

Simone finds this responsiveness particularly useful when time is of the essence.

“If there’s a deadline coming up, it gives us more time to prepare documents and get them to clients. 

“It also means if the client has something urgent come up, we can get their documents lodged with the ATO in minutes.” 

A blonde woman looks at a computer screen

Take a clear-eyed view of your business from day one

If there’s one thing Simone thinks every business owner should know from the very start, it’s the ins and outs of your model and structure.

“Talk to a professional about what structure you need. We find the structure and related tax obligations are so important and can be very difficult to fix down the track. 

“Whether you're considering being a sole trader, partnership, a trust, or a company, getting that structure right at the start can be a massive time and financial saving.”

And you never know – even if you’re confident in the direction of your business, it doesn’t hurt to take one last deep dive. After all, every small issue you find now could be one less spanner in the works later.

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